Hotel Colorado’s Haunted History
The Hotel Colorado opened for business in 1893, just eight years after the town itself was incorporated. But there’s more to this impressive hotel than meets the eye. Some say that the Ute Indians, when they were displaced from the area in 1880, put a curse on the land where the hotel now stands. Others, claim that the ghosts of guests who died in the hotel over the years still roam the halls. In any case, the history of the haunted hotel is filled with stories that defy a natural explanation.
The Hotel Basement
Postmortem Fitness Fanatic
For many years there was a fitness club in the basement. The owners frequently reported seeing a female ghost working out on the exercise equipment. The most dramatic occurrence was when the owner was closing for the night, powering down the equipment and Jacuzzi spa. Ready to walk out, the spa turned itself back on. He checked the electrical panel; all the switches were in the off position.
In 1993, a houseman named Dave was doing his nightly rounds in the basement when he saw an old woman peering into the basement window with her hands cupped around her face. The window well was quite deep and usually required a ladder to get into, so Dave was concerned that she might have fallen in and hurt herself. He walked across the room to turn on the light switch, but when he turned back to the window, she was gone.
The Trailing Scents on Main Floor
On the main floor, a notable ghost named Bobbie dates to at least WWII. She was a nurse when the hotel was a naval hospital during the war. Involved in a torrid love triangle, she was bludgeoned to death by one of her jealous lovers. To cover up the affair, both officers were shipped out overnight, leaving Bobbie behind and her murder unsolved.
Over the years, Bobbie has made regular appearances at the hotel. She likes “visiting” guests in the dining room, especially for her favorite meal of the week—Sunday brunch. Guests report smelling a sweet perfume believed to be Gardenia, a perfume from the 1930s and 1940s that’s no longer in production.
Hotel staff have noticed the distinctive fragrance as well. In 1994, two employees were using a tall ladder to hang decorations when they noticed the scent. The smell, however, could not be detected at the floor level. One of the workers theorized that Bobbie had levitated to ceiling height to see what he was up to. Fortunately, no mischief occurred.
Walter Devereux or E.E. Lucas?
The most famous ghost that roams Hotel Colorado goes by Walter, named after Walter Devereux, the hotel’s founder. Like Bobbie, Walter’s presence is marked by an unmistakable odor—that of cigar smoke, even though the Hotel hasn’t allowed smoking inside for years. Has Walter been misidentified? Some think that Walter might actually be the spirit of E.E. Lucas.
Lucas came to work at the hotel as its controller in 1893 and later became general manager in 1905, just before Teddy Roosevelt’s visit. He bought the hotel in 1916 and kept it until his death in 1927, at which point his wife took over ownership until 1938.
In the 1980s, one of the hotel’s night auditors left the front desk area briefly. Upon his return, he saw a gentleman reclining in a chair on the balcony smoking a cigar. In another incident, a public relations firm was photographing the lobby for a brochure. The time delay photo captured a figure sitting in a chair by the fireplace. In 1993, a psychic from Wales visited. She sensed the male presence and confirmed many details associated with Mr. Lucas, including specifics about his life and death that she could not have otherwise known.
The Rooms Upstairs
While the hotel’s housekeeping policy instructs staff to not touch guest property, one ghost refuses to comply. Stories have emerged over the years of a ghost, probably a housekeeper herself, who unpacks guests’ clothing upon arrival and repacks it in suitcases before their departure. Not every ghost is inclined to be of service. Some spirits have a mischievous attitude like the ghost on the second floor who likes to upset housekeeping carts, strewing towels and supplies all over the hallway!
It’s not just the common areas of the hotel that have been shrouded in mystery—some of the rooms themselves have hosted strange sightings as well. In 1993, a man and his wife were staying in room #661, the larger of the two tower suites. The man was feeling ill, so his wife opened the windows, thinking the fresh air would do him good. When she left the room, another woman came in and closed the windows, saying that he needed to stay out of the draft.
When the man’s wife came back, she reopened the windows, and the process repeated for the entire three days the man was ill. But this couple aren’t the only people to have noticed the woman in #661. Many guests over the years have reported seeing a woman standing over their bed in that room, usually wearing a floral dress.
Mystery or History?
Haunted or hoax? Maybe the stories are evidence of the paranormal; maybe they are pure imagination. There’s only one way to find out for certain. Book a stay at Hotel Colorado and discover for yourself!